RTTNews - U.S. Stock futures point to a lower opening Thursday morning as the markets eagerly await the jobs report for June which may confirm that the downward momentum has slowed down. On the contrary, if employment declines by more than expected, traders could move to the defensive until they get more clarity on the economic outlook.

As of 6.15 am ET, the Dow Futures were down 48 points, the S&P Futures were down 5.80 points, and the Nasdaq 100 futures were down 8.00 points.

Wednesday, stocks ended in positive territory on the first day of the third quarter amid the release of mixed economic numbers. While the ISM's manufacturing sector index rose almost in-line with expectations and pending home sales index ticked up marginally compared to expectations of an unchanged line, the ADP's private employment survey showed bigger than expected job losses and construction spending fell again in May.

The Dow closed up by 57.06 points or 0.7% at 8,504, the Nasdaq rose by 10.68 points or 0.6% to 1,846 and the S&P 500 advanced by 4.01 points or 0.4% to 923.

The non-farm payroll employment report to be released at 8:30 am could be closely watched by traders, given the significance of job growth to consumer spending, which is one of the major vehicles of growth. Economists currently estimate a loss of 365,000 jobs and an increase in jobless rate to 9.6%. President Barack Obama had earlier warned that the unemployment rate might reach double-digit levels. The Labor Department is also scheduled to release its weekly report on first time claims for unemployment insurance at about the same time. Economists expect a modest increase in claims for the recent reporting week.

Also on tap is the factory goods orders report from the Commerce Department, which is due out at 10 am. Economists estimate a rise in orders after durable goods orders, which account for the bulk of the factory goods orders, showed a strong performance in May.

After the markets closed Wednesday, Discovery Laboratories Inc. (DSCO), stated that it is unlikely to satisfy the FDA requirement for Surfaxin for the prevention of Respiratory Distress Syndrome in premature infants.

Healthcare company Myriad Genetics Inc. (MYGN) said after the markets closed that it has successfully completed the spin-off of Myriad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (MYRX) and would now operate as two independent companies.

Auto-parts supplier Lear Corporation (LEA) said that it has reached an agreement with lenders to restructure its debt and said it plans to file for Chapter 11 protection soon. In addition, the Southfield, Michigan company said it had obtained $500 million in bankruptcy financing.

Reports reveal that Boeing Co. (BA) is in negotiations to purchase operations from one of its main suppliers, as part of an effort to gain more control over the supply chain of its troubled 787 Dreamliner program.

Philip Morris International, Inc. (PM) announced that it has inked a deal with Swedish Match AB to purchase its South African affiliate, Swedish Match South Africa (Proprietary) Ltd. for ZAR 1.75 billion, or approximately $222 million.

Lighting equipment manufacturer Acuity Brands (AYI) is scheduled to release its third quarter results during the day. Analysts expect the company to report EPS of $0.57 for the quarter.

In Europe, the Eurostat revealed that seasonally adjusted jobless rate in Eurozone rose to 9.5% in May from a revised 9.3% increase in the previous month. In a separate report, the Eurostat revealed that Eurozone industrial producer prices dropped 5.8% year-over-year in May, compared with a 4.6% fall in the previous month.. Economists had expected a decline of 5.6%.

The stock markets across Europe are trading in the negative territory ahead of key job report in the U.S and softening commodity prices. The CAC-40 Index is down 1.19%, DAX in Germany is losing 1.62% and the FTSE 100 in the U.K is losing 0.75%.

Light sweet crude oil futures for August delivery is presently quoted at $68.23 a barrel down $1.08 from previous close at New York. On the currencies front, the dollar is gaining against the euro, pound and the yen. The euro, on the other hand, is trading higher against the Pound but weakening against the Japanese yen.

The markets across Asia ended weaker looking for the jobs report from the U.S for further cues on global recovery.

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